In the move to Net Zero, that critical state where greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by their removal from the atmosphere, capping global average temperature increase, switching to electric vehicles (EVs) is considered key. Yet there’s one big issue: there aren’t enough charging stations to keep those vehicles moving, especially in rural areas.
Westario Power and Bruce Power Net Zero (BPNZ) have created a program to help solve that problem in the Clean Energy Frontier region of Bruce, Grey and Huron counties in Ontario. Currently, there are only 45 accessible stations across the three counties that combined are home to more than 200,000 people.
In partnership with ChargePoint, an EV infrastructure provider, BPNZ and Westario Power are helping municipalities ‘Lead the Charge’ by offering a turnkey program in the Westario Power service area to install and operate Level 2 EV charging stations in public places. The program is funded in part by BPNZ and Westario Power, and will allow municipalities to lease EV charging stations from ChargePoint, which will install and fully service the stations. To support the initiative, Westario Power will provide the final connection to its distribution system where required.
Yesterday the companies announced that the first EV charging station in their Lead the Charge initiative will be installed in the Municipality of Brockton this summer. Jenny Alfandary, president and chief executive officer of Westario Power, and Mike Rencheck, president and CEO of Bruce Power, were joined by Chris Peabody, mayor of the Municipality of Brockton, at the Walkerton Community Centre to introduce the planned site of the first Level 2 EV charging station at the community centre. It is the first of three planned for the community of about 9,500, which was formed in 1999 by the amalgamation of Brant, Greenock, and Walkerton.
“I am excited about the opportunity to bring a clean energy option to Brockton, which fulfils our community’s vision of environmental integrity and progressive economic development,” said Mayor Peabody. “Council will diligently finalize plans in the weeks ahead that will allow us to get the stations up and running.” The municipality is also considering adding charging stations at two more locations: the Elmwood Community Centre and the Cargill Community Centre.
“Our collaboration with Bruce Power and the Municipality to bring EV charging stations to Brockton is another example of our commitment to community prosperity,” said Alfandary. “Through this partnership, we are living up to our mission of powering people’s lives, while also responding to climate change and supporting the transition to Net Zero.”
“Bruce Power is pleased to partner with Westario Power and Brockton to ‘Lead the Charge’ towards a Net Zero future right here in the Clean Energy Frontier,” added Rencheck. “The Nuclear Innovation Institute’s ‘Plugging In’ report highlighted the need to improve EV access in our area and we are proud to be doing our part in making this a reality.”